Signs You Have Weak Hip Flexors

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Whether you end up sitting stationary a lot of the day, otherwise you’re an avid runner or bike owner, there’s likelihood your hip flexors are achy. However, although we regularly hear about how widespread it’s for these little muscle tissues on the entrance of our hips to be tight, it is also fairly doubtless that you simply might need weak hip flexors.

And if that is what you are truly coping with, no quantity of stretching is definitely going to repair the difficulty. As an alternative, you want devoted hip flexor strengthening workout routines.

So how will you inform whether or not yours are tight or weak? “Hip flexors are, normally, extra susceptible to getting stiff than weak, however there are some instances when the hip flexors can grow to be weak,” says Dave Sweet, DPT, a board-certified specialist in orthopedic bodily remedy and proprietor of Extra 4 Life PT. Right here, he breaks down the telltale indicators, and what you are able to do about it.

What causes weak hip flexors?

Because the identify implies, hip flexors are muscle tissues that flex the hip. They allow you to convey your thigh up nearer in direction of your chest, like once you elevate your leg to take a step ahead when operating or climbing the steps.

Dr. Sweet particulars three widespread eventualities that may improve the danger of getting weak hip flexors:

  1. “Individuals who have a ‘flat again’ posture, who stand with their hips prolonged, can develop overly-lengthened and weak hip flexors,” explains Dr. Sweet. You may see this by somebody from the facet: The entrance of the hips press ahead, the decrease again is flat, and the knees are behind the middle of the hip joint.
  2. One other risk is {that a} pinched nerve within the higher lumbar backbone could cause a neurological weak spot of the hip flexors, Dr. Sweet says.
  3. The ultimate—and commonest—trigger is a muscle imbalance between the totally different hip flexors. Dr. Sweet says that on this case, not all the 4 muscle tissues that make up the hip flexor group are weak. “As an alternative, one hip flexor muscle could also be weak and one other hip flexor muscle takes over and will get overworked,” he notes. “The commonest instance of that is the place folks overuse their tensor fasciae latae (TFL) and under-use their iliopsoas.”

Indicators that your hip flexors are weak

When you’ve gotten tight hip flexors, you’ll be able to normally inform as a result of they are going to really feel stiff and considerably restrictive, particularly once you rise up from a seated place or straighten your leg all the best way after you’ve been mendacity down for some time.

Hip flexors weak spot, nevertheless, is usually much less obvious—which is why it’d go undetected (or mistaken for tightness). Nonetheless, Dr. Sweet says there are three telltale indicators:

  1. In case your pure, snug standing posture leads to your knees positioned behind your hips (hips and knees hyperextended), you might have overstretched, weakened hip flexors. “Your hip flexors should really feel ‘tight,’ as a result of they’re stretched to their end-length. Nevertheless, you need to solely stretch if the muscle is truly quick in size,” says Dr. Sweet. “A bodily therapist can help you in doing size and adaptability exams to find out which muscle tissues are literally quick.”
  2. In case you have bother lifting your leg to climb a stair or step into a tub, or in the event you really feel like you’re tripping once you stroll as a result of your legs really feel “heavy” or onerous to elevate up.
  3. “If you cannot elevate your knee as much as your chest and maintain it there for a couple of seconds, you doubtless have weak hip flexors,” Dr. Sweet says.

3 workout routines that may assist strengthen your hip flexors

If any of the above indicators sound acquainted, it is time to start strengthening your hip flexors. Listed below are three workout routines Dr. Sweet recommends.

Seated iliopsoas activation

In the event you’re coping with a muscle imbalance inside your hip flexors, it is doubtless that your iliopsoas is the weak hyperlink. “Your iliopsoas muscle tissues connect to your backbone and are a hip flexor and exterior rotator [of the hip],” says Dr. Sweet. Here is one approach to strengthen it:

  • Sit upright in a chair or on a weight bench.
  • Carry your knee up greater than 90 levels (ideally as near your chest as doable) along with your knee turned outward. Dr. Sweet says the TFL muscle is not hip flexor on this place, so turning your knee out isolates the iliopsoas.

Full 12 to fifteen reps per leg. You may add an ankle weight as you get stronger.

Mendacity straight leg raises

The rectus femoris is among the muscle tissues within the quadriceps (the big muscle group on the entrance of your thighs), and it performs a task as a hip flexor. To strengthen your it, you are able to do straight leg raises mendacity in your again.

  • Lie down in your again and straighten your knee absolutely, then elevate your leg towards the ceiling, ensuring to maintain your knee absolutely straight and toes pointed immediately up.
  • Maintain for 5 seconds, after which return as slowly as doable to the beginning place.

Full 15 to twenty reps per leg. You may add an ankle weight as soon as you’ll be able to carry out the train simply.

Iliopsoas straight leg raises

Dr. Sweet says you may as well use mendacity straight leg raises to strengthen your iliopsoas by performing the identical train, however turning your toes outward 45 levels (slightly than having them pointed straight as much as the ceiling). Turning your legs outward this fashion will externally rotate your hip to focus on the iliopsoas muscle.

Start with one set of every of those three workout routines and construct as much as three units. In the event you expertise vital soreness or if the workout routines appear to be making issues worse, work with a bodily therapist to establish the foundation reason behind your hip flexor points and discover an efficient rehab program.